It’s comfortable and cosy – a place you’ll spend about a third of your life, or more if you’re a particularly heavy sleeper. Your bed is one of the most important pieces of furniture you’ll ever buy, but how much do you know about it?
From design to history, there’s a surprising amount to know about the way modern beds are built. Read on to learn 10 interesting facts you probably didn’t know about your bed, its history and development and the technology that’s inside it.
ITS MATTRESS MIGHT HAVE BEEN DESIGNED 150 YEARS AGO
Although many recent developments related to beds are fairly new, such as memory foam mattresses and certain bed designs, the basics of bedding have been the same for centuries.
The coil spring mattress, which is still the most popular form of mattress available today, was first patented in 1865. Although mattresses have been modified since, the basics of coil spring mattress design haven’t changed much in 150 years.
OF ALL YOUR FURNITURE, IT’S PROBABLY THE MOST USED
No matter how long you spend at your desk or on the sofa watching television, it’s highly likely you’ll spend more time on your bed than any other item of furniture in your home.
On average, people spend about eight hours each night asleep in bed, in addition to the time spent in bed waiting to sleep. That’s far more time than you’ll spend at the sofa, working at your desk or relaxing in your favourite chair throughout your life.
YOU’LL PROBABLY SHARE IT, BUT NOT JUST WITH YOUR PARTNER
Did you know that you’re sharing your bed with others even when you sleep on your own? Over time, both visible and invisible pests can move into your bed and mattress, often in the thousands.
Dust mites are a particularly common bedroom pest. Although they aren’t quite as prevalent as many people think (and they don’t, contrary to popular belief, cause your mattress to double in weight) they’re a common sight in many mattresses.
Although you’ll always share your bed with something, there are ways to reduce the risk of unwanted pests moving in. Keep your bedroom free of dust and make sure its humidity level is low to discourage dust mites moving in.
Just waged a war on the pests. Washed everything that is machine washable, doused the mattress in febreeze, put on new sheets, & vacuumed— Brittany H (@brihelt) 23 June 2009
EVEN IF IT’S A KING, IT’S NOT THAT BIG COMPARED TO OTHERS
Most of us associate the word “king” with a large, comfortable bed. Although king is one of the largest sizes available in most furniture shops – although super king beds are slightly larger – they’re far from the largest available.
According to Guinness World Records, the world’s largest bed measures 65.5 metres long and 16.44 metres wide. The bed, which is located in the Netherlands, isn’t just too big to fit inside the average bedroom – it’s too big for the average house.
KEEPING IT UNMADE MIGHT PREVENT BED BUGS FROM MOVING IN
From childhood, most people are instructed to tuck in their bed sheets and make up their bed every morning. While making your bed definitely looks better than leaving it unmade, it might not be the best way to discourage bed bugs.
Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are more likely to move into a bed that’s tightly tucked and shielded from the outside. This is because bed bugs are blinded by bright light and prefer to move around in the darkness provided by a duvet or blanket.
Although the risk of developing bed bugs is fairly low, this unusual fact is a highly convenient excuse for those that prefer to leave their bed unmade – or just forget about making it – every morning.
NO MATTER WHAT YOU PAID, THERE ARE COSTLIER BEDS OUT THERE
Think your bed was expensive? As with many other items of furniture, there are two types of beds available: beds made for those of us on realistic budgets, and luxurious beds designed and built for the ultra-rich.
A bed that fits squarely into the second of the two categories is made by a Swedish company called Hästens. This company, which is based in Köping, build handmade beds that purportedly offer the best night’s sleep possible.
Starting price: about £65,000 each. Sleek, luxurious and incredibly well made, due to the high price tag a Hästens bed demands, most of us will need to make do with our more modest bedroom furniture.
ALONG WITH YOUR SHOES, IT’S SERIOUSLY WORTH INVESTING IN
Although there’s no need to pay £65,000 for a high quality bed, it’s worth investing in something good for a very simple reason: you’ll spend more time in your bed than in anything else, save for perhaps your shoes.
Instead of spending more than you need to on a car, which you’ll only spend a few hours inside each day, or another luxury item, set aside a slightly higher budget for your bed and mattress. Over time, your back and joints will certainly thank you.
ON AVERAGE, YOU’LL NEED TO SWITCH MATTRESSES EVERY 10 YEARS
Over time, your mattress will collect dust, dirt, sweat and other elements from the air in your bedroom and your body. This, along with regular wear, makes it worth replacing your mattress every 10 years.
While it’s important to replace your mattress once it’s aged and worn out, there are a few ways to improve its performance and extend its lifespan. Clean your mattress regularly with a vacuum and upholstery attachment and turn it every three months.
IF YOU TAKE TOO LONG TO FALL ASLEEP, IT MIGHT BE TO BLAME
Do you often struggle to fall asleep at night? You should take about 15 to 30 minutes to fall asleep, assuming you’re feeling tired. If you frequently take longer, your bed – more specifically, your mattress – could be keeping you awake.
The firmness of your mattress and the level of support it offers both affect the way you sleep. A mattress that’s too firm, too soft or simply unsupportive can keep you awake at night due to discomfort, making it a good idea to switch it for a new one.
IT’S PROBABLY LARGER THAN BEDS SOLD 10, 20 OR 30 YEARS AGO
Like cars and restaurant meals, beds today are larger than the beds sold throughout the 20th century. Sizes like king and super king became popular relatively recently, with the majority of large bed sizes increasing in sales throughout the 1980s.
Although a double bed might seem fairly small compared to a king or super king, it was the largest size available for many people throughout the 20th century. Even if your bed isn’t the biggest available today, it’s probably giant by historical standards.
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